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New Energy UK CEO gets to work

Emma Pinchbeck has today started work as the new chief executive of Energy UK, joining from RenewableUK, where she was deputy chief executive.

News of Emma’s appointment was announced in January, since which time she has been on maternity leave, following the birth of her first child last autumn. Emma starts on a part-time basis before becoming full-time in September. Audrey Gallacher has been interim chief executive since the start of the year, following the departure of previous incumbent Lawrence Slade in December 2019, and will now become Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy.

Emma Pinchbeck said:

“I am excited to be starting at Energy UK. The momentous events of the last few months mean that the challenges for the sector are greater than ever, on top of the rapid change being experienced by the energy industry as the low carbon transition gathers pace.

“Energy is an essential service and workers in this industry have stepped up to keep operating without disturbance during this time of disruption, and supporting their customers through difficult circumstances.

“I know that Energy UK has been very proud to represent this industry as their trade body, working closely with government to cope with the economic and other consequences of COVID-19. We will continue to push hard for our members and for the resilient low carbon economy that they are calling for. There can be no green recovery without the energy sector.

“Having led the world in reducing emissions from power generation, our members will be working to deliver on the UK’s net-zero commitment, reducing emissions in areas like heating and transport. In the process we will stimulate investment, support innovation, and create thousands of skilled jobs in the new economy.

“I must thank Audrey Gallacher for doing such a fantastic job of steering Energy UK through a very challenging period and giving me precious time with my first baby. I’m fortunate to be taking over an organisation in great shape and can’t wait to get going.”  

Energy UK last month published a report in partnership with PwC – Rebuilding the UK economy: Fairer, cleaner, more resilient, highlighting the central role the energy sector can play in powering the post-COVID-19 economic recovery. It identified five policy areas which could provide the stimulus for jobs, investment and growth – with the energy sector helping deliver widespread economic, environmental and societal benefits as part of a sustainable, green recovery focused on the net-zero target. The five policies are:

  • Launch a national housing infrastructure upgrade programme​
  • Further accelerate the transition to low carbon transportation
  • Unlock further private investment in a digital, flexible and affordable, low carbon energy system
  • Accelerate the development of regional industrial clusters and local supply chains​
  • Support people, businesses and local authorities to recover from the crisis


Notes to editors

  1. Emma Pinchbeck is an expert in whole-economy decarbonisation and the energy transition. From 2016-2020, she served as Deputy CEO of the trade body RenewableUK, in which role she also sat on the Board and on the Board of Scottish Renewables. She holds several board advisory positions, including with Imperial College and Innovate-UK, and is a regular commentator on climate change and renewables in the media. Prior to joining RenewableUK, Emma was Head of the Climate Change team at WWF-UK; in this role she led a team campaigning on the Paris Agreement, on international aviation emissions, and on the UK’s Coal Phase Out. Emma strongly supports efforts to improve diversity in the energy sector and improve working practices in industry, and has been a mentor to various young professionals around her work. She has an MA from the University of Oxford. Outside of work, she ran her first Marathon in 2018 to raise money for WWF’s climate change work, and is a keen competitive rower. She is passionate about sustainable living: even her wedding dress was from Oxfam! Emma had her first child in Autumn 2019.
  2. Energy UK is the trade association for the GB energy industry, with a membership of over 100 suppliers, generators and stakeholders with a business interest in the production and supply of electricity and gas for domestic and business consumers. Our membership covers over 90% of both UK power generation and the energy supply market for UK homes. We represent the diverse nature of the UK’s energy industry – from established FTSE 100 companies right through to new, growing suppliers and generators, which now make up over half of our membership.